Ask an Accountant: Eligible educator school supply tax credit

Francesca Giroux, CPA
For the Lakeside Leader

For the 2018 taxation year, eligible educators can claim a 15 per cent refundable tax credit on up to $1,000 of supply purchases per year. The non-refundable credit thus amounts to a maximum of $150 benefit on the educator’s personal income tax return. In order to claim the credit you must be a teacher or early childhood educator employed at an elementary or secondary school or a regulated childcare facility. In addition, you must have a teacher’s certificate that is valid in the province or territory that you are employed in or you must have a certificate/diploma in early childhood education that is recognized in the province or territory that you are employed.

In order for the supplies to be eligible, the educator identified above must purchase them in the taxation year (2018), and they must be used in a school or in a regulated childcare facility for teaching or helping students to learn. The supplies must not be reimbursable by your employer, or subject to an allowance or any other form of assistance (unless the allowance or reimbursement is included in the income of the teacher/educator and not deductible); and not deducted or used in calculating a deduction from any person’s income for any taxation year. To summarize, the supplies expense must be paid out of pocket and your must not reimburse you for the cost.

Examples of eligible teaching supplies include but are not limited to construction paper, flash cards, items for science experiments, art supplies, games and puzzles, books for the classroom, various writing materials and school supplies as well as educational support software. Items that are not considered eligible would include computers, tablets, rugs/furniture as these are deemed by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to be durable goods which can be used repeatedly or continuously for a relatively long time and as such are not considered to be supplies. The only durable good considered eligible for the credit are games and puzzles, books, containers such as plastic boxes and educational support software.

It is important to keep all your receipts for the supplies should the CRA request to see them, as well the CRA may ask you to provide certification from your employer confirming that you have purchased eligible supplies for your classroom.

Please e-mail your questions to frankie@nashgirouxllp.ca.

Information provided is of a general nature. As each individual or company’s situation is unique, you may wish to consult with your CPA for information specific to your own needs.

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